NCL 20 – The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan


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The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan (New Canadian Library N20) front coverSeries One

From the Back Cover:

Sara Jeannette Duncan’s fresh and lively voice has not been heard in Canada as it deserves to be. Although a product of a small Ontario town in the late nineteenth century, Miss Duncan belongs to the cosmopolitan tradition and has in The Imperialist brought us to the centre of the social life of the imaginative town of Elgin which, like Mariposa, surveys the Ontario scene with kindly but observant eyes. The “imperial idea” embraced by Lorne Murchison is as contemporary today as it was then, and the conflict between the old world and the new as meaningful to today’s reader as it was to the eager public at the turn of the century.


The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan (New Canadian Library N20)

Series Two

From the Back Cover:

Although she was a product of a small Ontario town in the late nineteenth century, Sara Jeannette Duncan belongs to the cosmopolitan tradition. In The Imperialist she brings use to the centre of the social life of the imaginary town of Elgin, through which she observes the Ontario scene with witty and observant eyes. The “imperial idea” embraced by Lorne Murchison is as contemporary now as it was then, and the conflict between the old and new worlds prove as meaningful to today’s reader as it was at the turn of the century.


The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan (New Canadian Library N20) front coverSeries Three

From the Back Cover:

A lively, affectionate portrait of the imaginary town of Elgin, Ontario. The Imperialist transports us to the very heart of turn-of-the-century Canada.

Although she was a product of a small Ontario town in the late nineteenth century, Sara Jeannette Duncan belongs to the cosmopolitan tradition. In The Imperialist she moves into the centre of the social life of Elgin, a place she modelled on her own hometown of Brantford. Her witty and observant exploration of the “imperial idea” makes the conflict between the Old and the New Worlds as meaningful to a contemporary audience as it was to readers at the turn of the century.


The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan (New Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

Sara Jeannette Duncan’s classic portrait of a turn-of-the-century Ontario town, THE IMPERIALIST captures the spirit of an emergent nation through the example of two young dreamers. Impassioned by “the imperialist idea,” Lorne Murchison rests his bid for office on his vision of a rejuvenated British Empire. His sister Advena betrays a kindred attraction to the high-flown ideals in her love for an unworldly, and unavailable, young minister. Nimbly alternating between politics and romance, Duncan constructs a superbly ironic object-lesson in the Canadian virtue of compromise.

Sympathetic, humorous, and wonderfully detailed, THE IMPERIALIST is an astute analysis of the paradoxes of Canadian nationhood, as relevant today as when the novel was first published in 1904.


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